Sunday, November 30, 2008

The Five Best Moments of Video Games Featured In Movies Ever

Before Uwe Boll began churning out video game movies twice a week, to see a video game in a movie was a rarity. What was always most interesting to me though was how little the people obviously knew about video games in the first place when they decided to put them in the movie. Case in point is the John Cusack vehicle, Grosse Pointe Blank. In that film, Doom 2 makes an appearance…as an ARCADE GAME. Oh, yeah, I remember putting in that God Mode code at my local Cineplex, right on the keyboa…wait a minute…arcade cabinets don’t have keyboards.

So below are my top five favorite moments of video games featured in movies. Number one is my absolute favorite, mostly because I actually believed it was true at the time.

5. Karate Champ in Blood Sport
Karate Champ was a horrible game. It was horrible back then, and it’s an atrocity today, but in the Van Damme foot fest, Blood Sport, some serious male bonding happened when the muscles from Brussles and some other dude united by playing it. Seriously, I would think Pit Fighter would have been a better pick, given the subject matter.

4. Afterburner II in Terminator 2

Whoa, is that Butnick from Salute Your Shorts I see rocking out in Afterburner II? No way! Believe it. The nineties was a deciding decade for Zubaz pants and bizarre red mullets (Just check Wheeler from Captain Planet if you don’t believe me), and Butnick, so bad he just can’t help it, hanging with his friend, John Connor, adds the perfect cheese factor to a game that supplies all its thrills on the fact that it’s in a plastic plane that moves. They don’t make ‘em like they used to, that’s for sure.

3. Super Mario Bros. 3 in The Wizard
Okay, so maybe The Wizard was more a commentary on autism and Nintendo merchadising, than it was on anything else, that still doesn’t make that final, pivitol moment in the film when the idiot savant finds the hidden whistle by ducking on the white rectangle. Never have I felt more like a geek than when I tried the trick myself and found out that it worked. Little Big world was the shit.

2. Double Dragon in…Double Dragon

In the whoa, meta category is seeing the arcade cabinet for Double Dragon in the actual movie of Double Dragon. The scene occurs when that guy who ruined the X-Files, Robert Patrick is fighting the Lee brothers, and he slams them against the arcade cabinet, the game flickering on and on in the background. Okay, accuracy might not be the true aim of the film, but am I really supposed to believe that a movie that takes place in the not too distant future is still going to have old-school games like DD in them? Come on, where’s the cheesy virtual reality footage of people with headsets on fighting from the mind’s eye? Also…a little Battletoads love would have been nice, especially with their eventual team-up in the real not too distant future.

1. Game Gear in Rumble in the Bronx

Rumble in the Bronx was Jackie Chan’s first breakout film here in the US for many reasons. It had suspense, it had romance, and it even had magic, as revealed in the scene where Jackie’s little wheelchair bound friend is seen playing a Game Gear and there’s sound coming out of it. The magic lies in the fact that THERE IS NO GAME inside the Game Gear when he’s playing it. Ta da!

I’m not really sure if this was meant to market Game Gear as the tool of the devil, or just a prop to show that Jackie’s friend was wasting time, but I’ll never forget seeing that one shot of the kid playing Game Gear, in all its beeping and booping glory, and there was nothing even in it to make that noise in the first place. Leave it to Hollywood to mess up something as easy as putting a game in the gameslot.

What pains me MOST to admit, though, is that I actually believed that Game Gears could play games without having cartridges in them. The Master System could (Hang-On was on there), so why not the Game Gear? I mean, the number 1 and 2 buttons were the same, so why not this feature? Alas, it was not true, and upon unwraaping it for a present for Christmas, it didn’t take me long to realize I had been rused again. Dammit, Jackie! Ay ya!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Father Works Tirelessly For Son With Rare Birthmark

Click below to see how the article actually turned out on the website:

Greg Antonelle works multiple jobs. One such job is as a board member for the Washington Township school system, which he says, “puts food on the table.” Another job is coaching his two eldest sons’ baseball, football, and lacrosse teams, which he finds equally rewarding.

The third job, though, he makes no money off of at all, and that’s because it’s purely volunteer work, a title he took on because his third son, Nicholas, was born with a rare, incurable birthmark condition, known as lymphatic malformation.

“When he [Nicholas] was born, we were given a wrong diagnosis,” Mr. Antonelle says in regards to the lack of information many doctors have on vascular birthmarks. “I got more and more frustrated with the lack of information [on vascular birthmarks], so I said, you know what, I’m going to stop complaining and do something about it.”

And that something was getting involved with the not-for-profit Vascular Birthmark Foundation (VBF).

Antonelle got so involved, in fact, that he’s now the executive vice president of it, a job he took on to help families, such as his own, that have a child who has been affected with a birthmark, tumor, or other rare syndrome.

“We get two million hits per month on the website,” Antonelle says of the central hub,

Mr. Antonelle, who was merely looking for treatment for his son, didn’t even plan on attaining a position in the organization, but his intuitive ideas for fundraising made him a likely candidate for the job.

“On May 15th every year, we have a VBF Day of Awareness,” Antonelle says of how he first got involved with the organization, “and I wrote to celebrities with something called, Celebrity spring cleaning. [We were able to get things like] a cowboy hat signed by Garth Brooks, a pair of pants from Courtney Cox, and other things.”

Antonelle took these items and put them up on eBay alongside information about the VBF. With many of the items viewed by 1,000 people, he did the math and found that with everything he managed to acquire, that number soon jumped to 10,000 people reading and learning about vascular birthmarks.

“So you’d see a CD signed by Coldplay and also read about vascular birthmarks,” Antonelle said, “And that’s how it all started.”

He’s continued that outreach to celebrities for the past three years up to the VBF’s biggest day of the year, the annual “Mark of Beauty” gala in Manhattan on November 15th, from 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m at the Hudson Theatre in the Millennium Broadway Hotel. There, many of the items Antonelle has reached out for, such as a guitar signed by Miley Cyrus and the Jonas Brothers, a bat signed by Reggie Jackson, and a 2007 New York Giants signed helmet, among other things, will be auctioned off in hopes to acquire more money to sponsor physical education, research, and programs that promote acceptance for living with a birthmark.

Birthmarks are, after all, something many babies are born with everyday.

Paraphrasing the VBF President and Founder, Dr. Linda Rozell-Shannon, “one out of ten babies are born with vascular birthmarks,” Antonelle says, “Some will go away within days, and some can’t be found by the human eye, but what Nicholas has is extremely rare…[but] the only thing you really care about is that you’re child is healthy.”

Following the “Mark of Beauty” gala the next day will be the 2008 Vascular Birthmarks Conference on November 15th, beginning at 8:30 a.m. It will take place at Beth Israel’s Phillips Ambulatory Care Center and will include lectures by the country’s top specialists, as well as examinations for children. Reservations are required.

To contribute to the organization, contact Basia Joyce at (518) 374-2062 or

Sponsor A Wreath Fair Becoming a Tradition in Local Town

Drive through Washington Township after December 6th, and you’re likely to come across a barrage of wreaths sprinkled about town, hanging up as you travel.

“We put wreaths up around route 24 on the white fences,” says Deacon John Amato of the Long Valley Presbyterian Church, “We put up more than four miles of them.”

This is all part of the “Sponsor A Wreath” fundraiser started by neighbors Sam Akin and Harvey Ort Jr. five years ago in an attempt to give money to the Washington Township Food Pantry. The Fundraiser has since expanded to aid the Resident’s Emergency Fund, which helps out residents who could use the extra money at this time of year. Both the Food Pantry and the Emergency Fund are both administered by the Interfaith Community Outreach of Washington Township Area (ICOWTA), which is a coalition of 10 local churches that operate both the pantry and the emergency fund in the Long Valley Presbyterian Church on Bartley Road.

“Akin and Ort were really the impetus for the fundraiser,” Deacon Amato says.

What started with about 25 families participating, though, has blossomed into a community-wide project, one that everybody from local businesses, to the Garden Club of Long Valley, and even the Old Farmer’s Road School get involved in every year. In fact, the aforementioned school donated 160, 659 pennies this year from their “Spirit Day” competitions, which is about 100,600 more than last year.

“Luckily, the bank had machines to sort through all those pennies,” Deacon Amato says, “It took them two whole hours.”

Despite all that money, though, the wreaths in the fundraiser aren’t actually bought, but rather, sponsored by people.

“Some people might give five dollars, some people might give two,” Deacon Amato says about the amount of money they receive each year from people, “and some people might give $1000 at one time.”

The money comes in from many different sources, though, the Washington Township Library being one such place.

“We welcome the opportunity to get the word out,” says library director, Virginia Scarlatelli. “One big push we had for it was in the first two weeks of October, where in lieu of fees, we had people give money to the food drive.”

The wreaths can be sponsored in dedication of a loved one or to any other benefit you see fit.
This year, 480 wreaths is the goal.

“It’s become a tradition,” Deacon Amato says.

The tying of bows on wreaths at Ort Farms will take place on December 5th from 4:00 PM—6:30, followed by the hanging of the wreaths, which will start at Valley View Chapel on December 6th from 9—11:30AM. All are invited to come.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

10 Best Places To Hang Out Once You've Lost Your Job

Again. Another one from Here's the website if you want to see all those purty pictures they put up to accompany it:
10 Best Places To Hang Out Once You've Lost Your Job
By Rich Knight

There are few places as fun to futz around in as your local pedophile playground or pornography warehouse, but the pressure of putting food on the table can often hinder this gratifying feeling of freedom. But thanks to the crumbling economy, more and more people have free time to look forward to, now that losing your job is as easy as blowing your entire paycheck on gas at the local Sunoco. Here are a few great places to chill out at once you no longer have a job (you lucky bastard).
10. The Library
You can often find a wide assortment of "free men" just like yourself bathing in the bathroom to get "that stink" out their clothes. The library is sweet if you don't mind the lack of prostitutes or gangster rap music.
9. College Campuses
Students, especially freshmen, will usually just fork over wads of cash so you stop looking at them and reminding them of what could happen if they skip physics again to watch paternity tests on Maury Povich.
8. At the Airport
This is a good place to pilfer wallets. When tourists become mesmerized by the big board that tells them when their plane' departing, yoink! Bye bye, wallet. Hello, boxed wine.
7. Park Benches
Park benches are no laughing matter when it comes to curling up in a fetal position and getting a good night' rest. What is a laughing matter, though, is the look on people' faces when they see you wrestling the birds for the bread they just threw. A man' gotta eat, dammit! A man' gotta eat!
6. In Back of Chinese Restaurants
Do you think the Wong family is gonna let all that delicious Moo goo gai pan go to waste by selling it at discount prices by the end of the day? No way! They're going to toss it in the trash out back. This is where you step in. With an empty tray you fought off another bum with your knife.
5. Train Bathrooms
If you want to get to Point A to P oint B without sucking off the conductor, the best way to do this is by rushing on board a train, then running into the nearest bathroom before you get asked for a ticket. Once the rattling door is locked, listen carefully for your stop. Sure, some surly business man might be upset that he has to "hold it" until he gets home. But hey, you're homeless. Would he rather you "hold it" in his best shoes?
4. Family Reunions
Always make sure that there are a lot of people there before you make your walk-on guest appearance. If the place is packed, open the fence and step right in. Hopefully there will be so many indistinguishable faces that nobody' really going to notice or care if there' one more body they can't quite put a finger on. There' usually a BBQ as well, so also make sure you're first in line when they start handing out the dogs. Don't ever get screwed when it comes to free food, that' the homeless man' creed!
3. Box Factories
Find your future mansion.
2. Red Light Districts
Hookers make good punching practice. Just make sure you get sucky sucky before you start getting all Ivan Drago on them.
1. Your Old Home
Nothing says new lock better than old brick through old window. When the new family' on vacation, make yourself at home. Hell, you earned it... at one point in your life. Just watch out for the new guard dog or Sloman Shield that might be on the door. Those two obstacles will fuck-you-up.

Failed Celebrity Auditons For Proactive

Here's the link to the article on the actual site (With pictures!):
Failed Celebrity Auditions for Proactive Commercials
By Rich Knight, CRACKED Staff

Don't believe what US Weekly tells you: Celebrities aren't like us at all. Do you have a Perrier bidet in your bathroom? Does your son think the Oedipal complex means wanting to fuck the nanny and kill your bodyguard? Do you go out on the weekends looking to have a low key night and wake up the next morning half engorged in Mischa Barton? Actually, that last one only proves that you know someone in a rock band, but for the most part, celebrities' lives don't come close to resembling yours. Except in one important way. No matter how rich and famous they are, they also get disgusting, pus-filled pimples all over their faces. Lucky for them, Proactive works! And lucky for us, celebrities get paid obscene amounts of money to talk about it on TV. Through insightful, thought provoking infomercials, we've seen stars such as Jessica Simpson and P Diddy remove unsightly warts to once again return to a life worthy of a VH1 reality show. CRACKED recently managed to get our hands on some audition tapes of Proactive-using celebrities that failed their auditions for their own Proactive commercials. See if you can figure out why!
John Goodman
I remember I was on the set of Roseanne, and Rosie, that' what she demanded I call her, said, 'DANNNN,' in that whiney voice of hers, and I said, 'No Rosie, it' only Dan on the show, my real name is John.' And she was like, 'DAAAAN, get rid of those pimples or I'm going to replace you with Andrew Dice Clay,' who was a popular comedian at the time. And I said, 'But Rosie, I've had these pimples on my face ever since I was a child and nothing works.' And then Becky, I don't remember which one, there were two of them, I think it was the first one, handed me this bottle of Proactive, and it changed my life forever. Now, I only have pimples on the spots above my crotch I can't reach because my stomach is in the way. Thanks Proactive, you saved my career!
Hey, Proactive, I've got a story for you! Now we all know that fat is beautiful, there' no denying that! But the raccoon-like areola of pimples I used to have around my eyes was not so beautiful, and I needed help. The first dermatologist I spoke with said that I should try wearing sliced cucumbers over my eyes at night instead of open Oreo cookies. But rather than make a lifestyle change, I decided to seek a second opinion. And that' when I found out about Proactive. I remember being on the set of The Parkers a few weeks later, and the producer saying, 'Hey, when did we replace the grotesque woman with the raccoon-like areola of pimples around her eyes with a grotesque fat version of Oprah for the role of Ms. Parker?' I just giggled to myself and made a race-related joke about him being whiter than the ashy knees of my old boyfriend. Thank you, Proactive!
Jon Voight
Back before Angie was born, I couldn't get a good lay with all the pimples I had in the creases of my face. It was so bad that on the set of Midnight Cowboy, they were scrambling to write a backstory in which my character was burned about the face and neck in a toxic chemical explosion. Guess they thought it was problematic that the guy playing the crippled bum looked better than me. Too bad Proactive wasn't around back in those days. They ended up using what' known in the industry as a "belt sander and caulking gun." Now I'm so scary looking, I only get cast as terrifying villains like Coach Bud Kilmer in Varsity Blues, Senator Thomas Jordan in The Manchurian Candidate or Franklin Delano Roosevelt in Pearl Harbor. I wish I had you back when I still had a shot at being handsome, Proactive! Now my daughter won't even talk to me!
Jon Lovitz
Before Subway would even give me the time of day, I had pimples all over my beautiful face. During the kissing scenes on the set of High School High, Tia Carrerre' stunt double wouldn't even come near me, often drawing a picture of her face on a paper plate and making me use that instead. But after I started taking Proactive, I realized that it doesn't matter if the pimples on my skin are unsightly and gross, all that matters is that I once was a star on SNL with a catchphrase, and I could probably get regular girls who are turned on by men with money. That boosted my confidence. Now, I can say 'Subway, Eat FRRRAISH!' with the kind of attitude I need. Thank you, Proactive, for saving my life.
Kathy Griffin
I never had pimples that a good face-lift couldn't cure. If I had a pimple on my cheek, I'd have them stretch my face until the pimple was behind my hairline. If it was on my nose, I'd stretch it until it was at least on my cheek! When my face became stretched so tight that I was having difficulty pronouncing words, they started using skin left over after Russian babies were circumcised. Now my face is comprised of 96 percent baby foreskin, and I can thank my 'proactive' attitude towards plastic surgery for my unblemished looks. What do you mean that doesn't count as a Proactive ad? I used the word 'proactive,' didn't I? Wait! Please don't take that camera away! I'm so lonely.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

The Ten Greatest Phrases To Ever Come Out Of A Video Game Character’s Mouth.

Quite possibly my most read article to date (Though, I don't quite know why), click on the link and add one of your own favorite video game quotes:

I’ve said it before, and I'll say it again, video game storylines suck. But that doesn’t mean that the character’s in those horrible storylines can’t come up with pearls of wisdom (Or is it just comic gold?) when they open up their mouths. Below are, in my opinion, the ten greatest phrases to ever come out of a video game character’s mouth. I’m sure I’m missing a few here, but that’s what comment boards are for. So here they are, the top ten phrases ever. See if you can close your eyes and remember just how they sounded the first time you first heard them. Just don’t do it while you’re driving or operating heavy machinery. You should usually keep your eyes open for stuff like that.

10. “Waka Waka Waka, etc.”—Pac-man

Fauzy from the Muppet Babies, is that you? Nope, it’s just everybody’s favorite yellow one third of a pizza chomping down on pellets while avoiding ghosts, or Ku Klux Klan members, or whatever the hell, Inky, Blinky, Pinky, and Clyde happen to be. If you’re good enough to get past the first few rounds, you can even almost forget that Pac-Man is rude enough to talk while he’s eating, as the sound just becomes natural after awhile. Don’t forget the power pallet on your way around the bend!

9. “Aaaaaarrrrriiiiieeeesssss!!!!!”—Kratos, God of War

Shouting at the top of his lungs, Kratos, the pasty white anti-hero of the ultra-violent series, God of War, made it clear from the very onset that he was ready to take on the gods. I personally love vendetta stories, and God of War has one of the greatest, this shouted phrase being testament of a character of insurmountable power. Who knew that Kyle Barker from Living Single had such a killer voice?

8. “I’m sorry, but your princess is in another castle”—Toad, Super Mario Bros.

Whether that’s really Toad or not sitting there, fatter and plumper than he’s ever been, is disputable. But what isn’t disputable is that whoever he is, he’s going to be the bearer of bad news, telling you that you went through all that trouble just for nothing. No wonder Mario bangs his head on so many damn bricks all the time.

7. “Aym Banjo, whoooooa!”—Banjo in Diddy Kong Racing

While Diddy Kong Racing might most be remembered for its multi-vehicle awesomeness and Conker the squirl’s miscasting (He used to be so sweet before that dreadful, Bad Fur Day of his), what I remember most about this game was clicking on Banjo from Banjo-Kazooie fame and hearing his God-awful voice. Seriously, could he BE any more Red-necktified? I never saw him the same way again after that.

6. “Upside down whirlwind !#?whirlwind!”—Q*Bert

And you call yourself a gamr? If you can’t read that phrase up above, then you need to play Q*Bert again and land on one of the many enemies that pervade the playing field. That profane little whatever he is, is swearing up a storm!

5. “Jill, here’s a lockpick. It might be handy if you, the master of unlocking, take it with you.”—Barry Burton, Resident Evil

Okay, what? Wasn’t anybody at Capcom aware that this is one of the worst statements in the history of video game statements ever? First off, who even addresses a person by what they’re good at? It’s not like you’re going to say to me, “Rich, here are some Zubaz pants. It might be handy if you, the master of imitating Joey Buttafuoco, put them on.” That would just be plain silly. And second off, well, there is no second off, this phrase is just plain stupid.

4. “I am error.”—random fat dude in The Legend of Zelda 2

It’s been said that this was merely an error in the translation (“I am Errol,” is what some people claim he’s supposed to say), but seriously, can’t anybody check these things out first before they ship them over here? At least it’s not nearly as bad as this next one.

3. “All your base are belong to us.”—CATS, Zero Wing

Whoever this CATS character is seriously needs to brush up on his engrish. If you can actually find the transcripts of what was originally intended for the game, though, you’ll find that it was actually pretty good. At least, good compared to lines like, “Somebody set up us the bomb,” and “You have no chance to survive make your time.” If this is all it takes to become a translator, writing nonsense, then please sign me up immediately.

2. “Do a barrel roll!/Try a somersault!/Use the boost to get through!”—Peppy Hare, Star Fox 64

Oh, Peppy, Peppy, Peppy, bless your heart for being so enthusiastic about your work. I love how every line Peppy says sounds like it has to be louder and more demanding than the last. It makes lines like, “Your father used to do it like that, too!” sound justified. You actually feel proud for following Peppy’s instructions. And heck, half the time, he’s right. I really DO need to do a barrel roll.

1. Hadouken!—Sonic Boom!—Ryu/Ken, Guile, Street Fighter series

Ah, childhood. You could not walk into an arcade without hearing, “Hadouken!”, “Sonic boom!” volleyed back and forth like a tennis match. Sometimes, I’d stand by the arcade cabinet, waiting for my turn to play and watch whole matches that consisted of nothing but hadoukens and sonic booms, the Ryu’s and Ken’s usually beating out the Guile’s since they didn’t have to hold back for two seconds or anything like that. Whoever thought of the idea of shouting out your attack (Probably DBZ creator, Akira Toriyama) before fired it was ingenius, absolutely ingenius. Yoga. Yoga. Yoga. Yoga flame!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Why An All Led Zeppelin Game Would Be Better Than An All Beatles Game

Now, before you jump on my back and start punching me in the back of the head calling me a Beatles hater and all kinds of other terrible things that just aren’t true, hear me out first—I actually like the Beatles better than I like Led Zeppelin. I think the Beatles just had a more diverse vision of where music could be taken, and they definitely took it there. If you don’t believe me, just listen to all of the records between Please Please Me and Abbey Road to see what I mean.

But that doesn’t mean, however, that MTV, which recently made the announcement that a Beatles game was indeed being made, is going to show that magical mystery tour throughout their entire catalogue. As is often the case with these ultra popular music games, the songs that are going to be hand-picked for the game are most likely the most popular, endearing ones by the group. And with only 45 Beatles’ songs getting picked for the game, you can bet that some really awesome fan favorites (Like, “Dr. Roberts,” and “I Will” for me) might get short shrifted to make way for, “I want to hold your hand,” or “Come Together,” which are great songs, don’t get me wrong, but exactly what you’d expect from a game like this. I want the unexpected.

And that’s what I think I’d get with an all Led Zeppelin game, as their guitar heavy songs have a better chance of drifting among some of their lesser known hits in their catalogue. And this is because, quite frankly, Led Zep aren’t nearly as popular or beloved as the Beatles, and your mom won’t get upset if “All My Love” is on it, but “When the Levee Breaks,” isn’t. But she will get upset if she doesn’t get to croon, “Strawberry Fields,” even though that song is known less for its instrumentation and more for its surrealistic lyrics. And that’s another reason why an all Zep game would be even cooler than an all Beatles game—Zeppelin songs just rock harder. Really, besides “Helter Skelter” by the Beatles, can you name a single other song by them that is actually all that hard? I’m not saying a game has to be all hard rock all the time, but if the tracks are mostly just sing-songy and poppy, then that’s going to get tiresome real fast. But Zeppelin have enough all over the place music to make a really great game, and it would attract fans of the group and also those just interested in them in the process. So a Beatles game, awesome. But an all Zeppelin game, even awesome, er…er?